Letter to the Editor

About that PFD

To the editor: In the five years since Senate Bill 21 passed, the state of Alaska has been paying subsidies to the oil companies. Huge subsidies. We are supposed to be getting new wells and additional oil in the pipeline in return for those subsidies, but Joe Paskvan and Ray Metcalf and others have pointed out that we are not. Paskvan further pointed out (News-Miner, Sept. 10) that Alaska has actually lost money from the oil biz in three of the five years since SB21 went into effect. This is called a “negative production tax,” which is a cute way to say “rip-off.” I was right here in 1969 when the original oil leases went through, and I never in a million years would have believed Alaskans would one day be paying the oil corporations to take our oil off our property.

It was announced today that we are all getting a $1,606 PFD check, reduced from the $2,900 that the formula would normally specify. It turns out that the amount we are paying out in subsidies matches the “missing” PFD money, roughly $1 billion ($1,300 times 631,000 Alaskans). Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Sen. Kevin Meyer and every other Republican who voted to pass SB21 will try and convince you that the PFD checks are being garnished to pay for education and roads and whatnot, but the cold fact is that the PFD checks are being garnished to pay for the oil subsidies.

I still see vehicles around town with a “Like your PFD check? Vote NO on 1” bumper stickers. The drivers are sadly unaware that the money for the PFD checks comes from fund earnings (real estate, stocks and whatnot) and not from the oil corporations. The irony of this is that the failure to repeal SB21 is precisely why our PFD checks are being garnished today.

To repeat: All of the PFD checks are being garnished to pay subsidies to some of the richest corporations on Earth, and that money goes straight Outside as corporate profit. Do they deserve that money more than you do?


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